Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Labrador.
I am delighted to be standing here today to discuss Bill C-50, a bill that would help ensure Canada's workers are equipped with the skills and training they need to help our country seize the economic opportunities ahead of it. The fact is that as the world advances toward a net-zero future, we need to skate where the puck is going. I will give members a good example from my riding.
The Government of Canada invested to help Algoma Steel, the second-largest steel producer in Canada, bring its operations into the next era by phasing out its thermal coal furnaces and putting electric arc furnaces in their place. This means more clean air in my community. It is the equivalent of taking nearly one million gas-powered cars off the road. It is amazing. It means a healthier workplace for our steelworkers as well.
Like the sustainable jobs act, this investment was about creating new, well-paying jobs that benefit our economy. People in the community have started calling this investment “generational”. I have talked to steelworkers, and they know that if their grandkids choose to work in the steel industry in Sault Ste. Marie in the district of Algoma, because of this investment, they can do so.
There are industrial facilities like Algoma Steel in many parts of our country, from material to energy to manufacturing. Investors want to power their plants with clean energy, while minimizing emissions and maximizing their high-quality material production.
Members should not just take it from me: The president of the Business Council of Alberta said, “The Sustainable Jobs Act represents an important opportunity for Canada: to shape our future and create jobs by providing the resources that the world needs—including energy, food, and minerals.” Clearly, it is imperative that we advance technology and skills to get good projects built, while fighting climate change.
On the investment and research side, we are working hard to make sure that Canada is at the front of this global race for clean technologies. The Government of Canada is approaching this thoughtfully, through measures such as our hydrogen strategy, a clean electricity vision paper and our recently released carbon management strategy, which will help us secure sustainable jobs in such sectors as cement and steelmaking.
As we work to become leaders in the clean technology sector, we also need to make sure that our people are equipped to lead. Within the Canadian sustainable jobs act, the government would create a future where the Canadian workforce can thrive as it meets the world's growing demand for low-carbon energy, resources and solutions. It is a future where the challenge would not be finding good, well-paying jobs. Instead, the challenge would be keeping up with the demand for skills development and training programs to help Canadians fill them.
Bill C-50 provides an important opportunity to create a legal framework for action that fosters the creation of sustainable jobs for workers and economic prosperity across Canada. This legislation already reflects the feedback we have received from workers, labour organizations, experts, indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, and many other stakeholders.
This legislation would help us do two things. These things are not negotiable if we want workers to succeed in a low-carbon economy.
The first thing it would do is put Canada's workers first. To put it simply, as the government invests in the growth of our energy sector and other low-carbon industries, this legislation obliges the government to bring Canada's accomplished and motivated workers along with us. We are starting this dream together in a good place.
Workers in the conventional energy sector are already well-positioned to succeed in growing clean technology industries such as hydrogen. This is based on a recent state-of-the-industry report from Enserva, which found the following:
...people involved in energy development will be at a huge advantage in terms of jobs and skills as the underlying technical skills required to extract, develop, produce, process and export oil and gas are transferable to different forms of energy, such as wind, solar, biomass and LNG.
While this gives Canadian energy workers a reason to be optimistic, we still need the legislation to ensure that the government has a plan to provide them, their families and their communities with the related supports they need.
The second thing this legislation would allow us to do is to assure existing and potential investors that our workforce is fully up to supporting emerging low-carbon projects and priorities. We must continue to motivate investors to back the businesses that will grow tomorrow's low-carbon economy, while investing public funds into a wide array of sectors and projects.
The latest federal budget alone included $86 billion in new incentives to accelerate the growth of our clean energy sector, with new or enhanced investments and tax credits toward generating clean electricity and hydrogen, manufacturing and adopting clean technologies and advancing the viability of carbon management. This investment stands to help workers in very real ways, since the highest investment tax credits are reserved for the companies that offer the most competitive compensation packages. It is a win for investors, for Canadian workers and for communities.
The legislation has been informed by many things. In 2021 the government released a discussion paper on sustainable jobs, and we invited all Canadians to have their say on it. This led to 18 months of public consultations, highlighted by 17 round tables with a range of stakeholders and partners, including workers themselves. We also received tens of thousands—